On a day when Section 1 reigned supreme at the Class 1A state swimming and diving championships, few teams were happier than the girls from Mankato West. The Scarlets finished a distance second in the team race to Visitation, but the smiles told the story at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
And a big part of the story was the Nack sisters, senior Danielle and junior Chantal (pictured). What kind of day did the Nacks have? Danielle won her second straight state title in the 50 freestyle and her third title in the 100 butterfly, while Chantal won her second gold medal in the 200 freestyle and also won the 500 freestyle. In addition to that, the Nacks teamed with Madison Bacon and Rachel Phinney to win the 200 freestyle relay.
Visitation won its first team title since it won four consecutive state championships from 2005 through 2008. The Blazers, from Mendota Heights, finished with 300 points, getting first-place finishes by Abbie Dolan in the 100 freestyle and two relay teams: Caroline Gaertner, Heather Farley, Emily Kishish and Lorelei Gaertner in the 200 medley relay and Caroline Gaertner, Lorelei Gaertner, Emily Connors and Dolan in the 400 freestyle relay (in a 1A meet record time).
Mankato West was second with 168 points, followed by Sartell-St. Stephen with 161, Hutchinson with 131 and Albert Lea with 130.
Wednesday marked the end of Danielle Nack high school swimming career, but her college swimming will take place at the same venue because she will attend the University of Minnesota.
Her younger sister said the state meet experience was “really cool. But it’s also kind of sad that it’s the last high school meet with my sister. It’s been a blast.”
The Scarlets’ victory in the 200 freestyle relay was a big thrill, especially considering that West had only the fifth-fastest time in Tuesday’s preliminaries.
“We had finished second four times in the relay, and to come out of fifth and take first is awesome,” said coach Dave Burgess.
Other Class 1A champions (all from Section 1)…
--Albert Lea sophomore Lindsey Horejsi, who set a 1A meet record in the 200 individual medley on Tuesday, won the event Wednesday in a slightly slower time. She also won the 100 breaststroke.
-- Northfield junior Bailey DuPay captured the 1-meter diving state title for the third year in a row.
--Cecilia Hake, a senior from Faribault, won the 100 backstroke.
CLASS 2A HIGHLIGHTS
--In the 200 medley relay, the Chanhassen team of Zoe Avestruz, Bridgette Grobe, Kaia Grobe and Kylie Dahlgren broke the all-time meet record for the second day in a row, winning in 1:41.96. Chanhassen also won the 400 freestyle relay in a state-record time of 3:25.69.
--Edina set an all-time meet record in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Amelia Anderson, Olivia Anderson, Emma Wittmer and Rachel Wittmer won in 1:34.06.
--Chanhassen junior Kaia Grobe captured her third consecutive state title in the 100 freestyle.
--Edina junior Olivia Anderson won the 100 breaststroke for the third year in a row.
--Chanhassen junior Zoe Avestruz won her second straight state title in two events, the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly.
--Edina ninth-grader Rachel Wittmer won the 50 freestyle after finishing in a third-place tie in the prelims. Placing third in the finals was two-time champion Kaia Grobe.
--Wayzata won its first state team title, finishing with 275 points. Next were Minnetonka 232, Edina 221, Stillwater 206 and Chanhassen 197.
--Diet Coke Count: 3 for the day, 6 for the state swimming tournament, 35 for the fall state tournaments.
BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 217
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 5,252
(*During the 2013-14 school year)
Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn